Forest-Papír: strength and determination

“The people of Hungary came from the East looking towards the West, and for over 1100 years lived in a point where these two cardinal points meet. This is reflected also in Hungarian culture and confers the country a unique personality with many aspects that cannot be found anywhere else in the world”.

Maura Leonardi

Forest-Papìr Ltd. has a unique, strong and determined character. Founded in 1994, it belongs 100% to Hungarian investors. Today, fifteen years from its foundation, this surprising industrial entity detains a prestigious position in the production and sale of tissue paper products. The Forest Group today includes Forest-Papìr, Assist Trend, a company dedicated to the sale of industrial products, and Forest Consulting, and is a consolidated entity that counts a staff of 262 employees and 3 production sites: Lábatlan, Leányvár and Tököl. With a market share of 25% in the consumer products segment, Forest-Papìr Ltd. is an important player on the national and foreign markets thanks to Hungary’s strategic position. Even though it is landlocked, it borders with many countries that are today gravity centers of the Eastern European economy: Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. Comprised of a close-knit and qualified work team headed by Ferenc Bodrogai, CEO, Forest-Papír converts 24,000 tons a year of tissue paper products (and has the capacity for 34,000 tons), covering 80% of sales in table napkins, toilet rolls/kitchen towels and industrial rolls; the remaining 20% is purchased.


WHAT MAKES THIS HUNGARIAN GROUP INTERESTING AND FOR MANY ASPECTS UNIQUE IN ITS KIND IS HUMAN RESOURCES: that is, the importance and primary role that this aspect covers within its strategy.

The people working in the company are the company itself: this is what makes the difference. Today, in a ruthless market that becomes each day more competitive and where numbers are the essence of survival, balance sheets regulate and articulate the life of a company and where profit margins constitute the main objective, finding a company where the relationship with people is at the basis of the daily philosophy that regulates its “ecosystem”, is certainly a rare privilege. The commitment, dedication, and attention that Mr. Bodrogai puts in his work are tangible in every corner of Forest-Papír. From the machine workshop to the offices, one breathes an air of belonging to a group and the shared desire to work together to attain mutual objectives that produce general wellbeing. Company loyalty and competent personnel are two fundamental principles that characterize this Hungarian company. Constant technological updating, continuous innovation, careful study and design of every product, relationships with suppliers based on trust, research and definition of market niches are other points of strength and essential objectives of the company’s philosophy.


INVESTMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY ARE AT THE BASIS OF SUCCESS AND INVESTING IN NEW MACHINERY MEANS INVESTING IN THE FUTURE. In 2008, Forest Papír increased its production capacity through several actions: the purchase of a Fabio Perini S.p.A. model Sincro 4.5 toilet roll and kitchen towel converting line, today in operation at the Lábatlan facilities; enhancement of the Fabio Perini S.p.A. model Sincro 4.0 line at the Tököl facilities; purchase of the fourth table napkins line – a 7-printing station line by SDF. The latter is working at full regime at the Leányvár facilities, headquarters for single-ply printed table napkins. Eastern European countries have a long tradition in catering to table decoration. For this reason, single-ply printed napkins cover 5% of tissue products consumption and are responsible for about 14% of Forest’s turnover. A veritable “specialist in high quality”, Forest brand table napkins satisfy 40% of the Hungarian market’s demand and are also exported in over 15 countries.

Success was conquered “on the field”, thanks to dedication and attention to detail. Production began in 2002 and today Forest Papír offers a unique and enviable napkin range, with an optimum quality-price ratio, indispensable in order to maintain a good market position.


THE PREMIUM CATEGORY IS CATERED TO IN EVERY DETAIL: the graphic idea, the quality of the print, the packaging and the price. The range is divided into napkins for everyday use and the higher range product, more refined and special, reserved for decorating the table during special occasions such as particular anniversaries or holidays like Easter and Christmas, or bearing decorations dedicated to children. Maintaining a leadership position is the aim of Forest Papír. For this reason, creativity lies at the basis of all production. An unusual idea to communicate is the new format created for children: a 12-page fairytale written on 12 table napkins. An entertaining and stimulating idea: children do not get bored while sitting at the table and they are curious to read the entire fairytale. Total napkins production is 1800 tons/year for the printed product and 500 tons/year for the simple, unprinted one. 80% of production is dedicated to the company’s own brand and the remaining 20% is for supermarket and store chain PLs mainly in Hungary. Investment in 2008 with the 7- printing station line has allowed the company to renew the image of the traditional napkin through the launch of a new product line that conjugates good quality with a modern, creative design.


SINCE ITS FOUNDATION, FOREST PAPÍR HAS FOCUSED ON THE CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF ITS OWN BRANDS: Premium and Plusz are the two product lines that include toilet rolls, kitchen towels and handkerchiefs. The new Premium and Plusz rolls were launched on the market a few months ago in a renewed packaging and contents as well, with new colors and perfumed fragrances. The strength of Forest-Papír lies in the strong and determined belief in innovation and creativity, focusing on researching the most appropriate combination between color and fragrance for the rolls, working on the graphics, the image and the design. The commitment and dedication shown in the course of these years have made Forest-Papír an exporter to 15 European countries and, since 2005, it holds a leadership position thanks also to its strong and active sales network. “Proposing retailers innovative rolls, napkins or handkerchiefs allows us to conquer new market shares and to export our product range in the region and maybe to all of Europe,” states Attila Kecskeméti, Deputy Marketing Manager of Forest-Papír. “For toilet rolls, the printing, the color, the fragrance and the décor are the key elements that satisfy the needs of consumers.

Today, consumption in Hungary is 9 kg per person, with a forecast average increase of about 8% a year.

Consumption levels have skyrocketed in these last few years, going from 4-5 kg per capita a few years ago to the present 9 kg. A growth favored by a more differentiated offer of the products proposed on the market. In the past, supermarket shelves were dominated by one-ply hygienic products made with low-quality paper. Today the situation is different. The offer has gradually shifted towards superior quality rolls, more elaborated, embossed, colored and perfumed. Surely, the general economic crisis will affect our country, too, with a consequent re-dimensioning of the market. But for us, our commitment towards innovation with the creation of products different from the others present and capable of setting the pace with respect to other competitors remains intact,” continues Kecskeméti. In 2008, Forest Group registered a turnover of 41,000,000 €: a winning result that confirms the strong and determined character of the Hungarian company.


Duna Papír, a very special company!


“A prison is certainly a particular place to headquarter a company that produces and converts tissue,” admits László Fogorasi, General Manager of Duna Papír, the 100%-government-owned Hungarian company that produces and converts tissue paper products by employing the work of prison inmates. Hungary has about 15,000 prisoners on a yearly basis. And among them 4,100 people are employed by the 12 prison facilities operating in the frame of enterprises (according to 2007 data). Duna Papír Kft is one of the most successful of these, with the main goal of giving jobs to the inmates. Duna Papír engages their work in the production and converting of toilet rolls, kitchen towels, industrial products and transparent film wrap. The company began its tissue converting operations in 1992, and in 1995 it also initiated its close collaboration with Forest Papír for the sale of tissue products. In 1999, Duna Papír obtained the ISO 9001 certification, a goal that rewarded the consistent effort made by the company towards the attainment of quality objectives and the quest for mutual satisfaction in the relationship with customers and suppliers.

Founded in 1971, Duna Papír, at the time called Dunai Vegyesipari, produced bricks for the construction field. Following the mid-1990s crisis in this industry, the management decided to change their core business in order to guarantee continuity and work for the inmates. Hence they have started a new tissue production and converting activity. With the increase in consumption registered in 2000 and the desire to give greater input to the prison inmates, Duna together with its investing partner, Paper & More, decided to set up a tissue machine. In 2002, a Toschi modulo 5001/20 was purchased (producing 20 tons per day) for making recycled product. Converting was entrusted to a Fabio Perini S.p.A. model Sincro 4.0 line, and in 2003 Forest and Duna decided to also purchase a new machine (Fabio Perini S.p.A. rewinder model 702G + industrial log saw model 112D) for AfH products, to satisfy the growing needs of the market. 80% of Duna Papír’s products are recycled and 20% are made of virgin fiber. Duna Papír’s aim is to ensure work for the inmates in the years to come. For his reason, the company’s equilibrium is regulated by the just compromise between technology, automation, human resources, with the aim of obtaining a profit. The profit is re-invested in the company and has attained the amount of 400,000 € in 2007. This is an important result for this entity that stands out among the other 12 companies/prison facilities present in Hungary. The average number of 350 inmates employed in the facilities work on a shift basis. The employment is based on procedures typical for every company, as they can start to work after an aptitude test. No particular abilities are required but the staff is selected based on their personal and professional aptitudes. Workers must go through a training period during which they can learn the operation of the machines and although they are not technicians, they assist production. The company also organizes training courses for forklift driving. Today, Duna Papír works at full regime and last year, 100,000,000 rolls were converted. The converting activity embraces both the consumer and the industrial segments with the production of rolls for the AfH sector, whose production amounts to about 12,000 tons per year. Quality is a reference point also for Duna Papìr: in close collaboration with Forest, it pursues technical solutions capable of guaranteeing quality standards. Today, Duna Papìr constitutes an important example of civic commitment. The work of the inmates assumes a fundamental role in a social context, and they actively collaborate within the production system, creating value and profit in a very special company, yielding surprising results.

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